Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chinese State Council Endorses Cap on Total Energy Use

In 2011 I discussed China potentially setting a total energy use cap of 4 billion tonnes of "coal equivalent" by 2015. This target was not, however, in the end included in the 5 year plan. But it seems that the State Council has now endorsed that target. This is really a quite radical target of about 2 tonnes of oil equivalent per capita. All developed countries use more energy per capita than this. The stylised fact is that energy use increases with income though energy intensity declines over time. It remains to be seen how China will attempt to achieve this target and if they try whether they can succeed. I'm more skeptical of this than of their energy intensity and emissions intensity targets.

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